GPA - Terra State releases commencement details

Press Staff Writer

        Terra State Community College has released more details regarding this year’s commencement ceremony.
        The College will celebrate the 52nd graduating class on Friday, May 7, with each academic division having its own ceremony.
        Allied Health, Nursing and Science Division will be at 5 p.m.; Liberal Arts and Business Division at 6:30 p.m. and Technology and Skilled Trades Division at 8 p.m.
        Students in transfer pathways will attend the Liberal Arts and Division ceremony, except mortuary science students, who will attend the Allied Health, Nursing and Science Division ceremony.
        Students will be able to bring up to four guests, who will sit within their group and maintain social distancing from others. Students who have applied to graduate will be sent an RSVP form via their Terra State email. Further details can be found at
        “This past year has been difficult for everyone, including our students who have had to transition to learning remotely,” said President Ron Schumacher, “We hope that this year’s ceremony is the perfect closing to their time at Terra State, surrounded by fellow classmates and family.”
        This year’s ceremony will come closer to a traditional commencement, with faculty present, conferring of degrees and a virtual keynote speaker.
        “We are very excited to celebrate our graduates and their hard work, as we transition closer back to normalcy,” said Bill Taylor, vice president of academic affairs.
Serenity Farms offering  kindergarten readiness
        Serenity Farms Equestrian Center, located at 21870 Lemoyne Rd., in Luckey, is offering four weeks of a kindergarten readiness curriculum based on the Ohio Department of Education Requirements, which includes fun with horses.
        The program will be offered Saturdays June 5, 12, 19 and 26 and July 3, 10, 17 and 31 from 9:30-11 a.m., and Tuesdays June 1, 8, 15 and 29 at 6:15 p.m. Classes will be limited to four children, to allow for individualized attention to each student. Participation is open to children entering kindergarten incv  the fall.
        The program was developed by Shanda Wright, who has a BS degree in Communications Sciences and a Master’s in Education with a license in Learning Disabled and Developmentally Handicapped K-12, together with Debra DeHoff, advanced equine specialist; Stephanie Zeigler, volunteer speech pathologist; Kathleen Warrington, retired teacher and Bonnie Bach, retired Mercy Health staff member.
        Each week will include purposeful activities set inside the barn area, take-home projects, and a riding component. Each student will receive an assessment and certificate of completion at the last lesson.
        Registration is required by calling 419-833-1308 or emailing Visit for more details.
Teen Poetry Contest
        The Harris-Elmore Public Library is sponsoring its 15th annual Georgiana Huizenga Teen Poetry Contest during the month of April.
        There will be several grand prizes given in four different categories:
        • Female Poet (humorous);
        • Female Poet (serious);
        • Male Poet (humorous)
        • Male Poet (serious).
        The grand prize will be a $25 Books-A-Million gift card. There will also be several other fun prizes for runners-up. Students in grades seven-12 are eligible to enter, including homeschoolers.
        Poems should be typed on one side of the paper (poems may be more than one page in length) and should be submitted to the Harris-Elmore Public Library by Friday, April 23. There is a limit of three poems per student.
        For more info, call 419-862-2482 or visit
Operation Street Smart
        The Ottawa County Drug Free Collaborative, an initiative of the Ottawa County Family & Children First Council, will present “Operation Street Smart,” on April 20 from 6-9 p.m. in the Oak Harbor High School auditorium. The program will also be presented earlier in the day from 1-4 p.m. at Port Clinton High School.
        The program, a collaborative effort between DARE and the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Special Investigative Unit, will offer an opportunity to learn about the current trends in drugs and drug abuse. Anyone with a connection with children is invited to attend. Presenters work in health care, education, the legal system and other fields.
        The program will include a “Hidden In Plain Sight” room, which resembles a typical teen's bedroom and focuses on what parents can learn about everyday items that may be indicators of risky behavior and/or drug use for their preteen or teenager.
        Seating is limited to 25 percent capacity at each presentation. All attendees are required to wear masks and practice social distancing.
        Register at
        For more information on the event, contact Joe Leroux at or 419-734-6843 or Margaret Osborne, Ottawa County Family and Children First Council, at or 567-262-3651.
Club to offer scholarships
        The Wood County Republican Women's Club (WCRWC) will award two $500 scholarships at their anniversary dinner in June. There are no restrictions for the funds that will be paid to the college or university that the student will be attending in the fall.
        Graduating high school females who are residents of Wood County and plan to attend college or university in the fall are eligible to apply.
        To request an application, email
Credit union rewards educators
        Each year, Sun Federal Credit Union accepts nominations from students, parents, and educators in the 16 schools they serve in Lucas and Wood counties.
        One teacher is selected from each of the top three nominated school districts to receive a $500 award. Additionally, the teacher with the most nominations selects one high school senior from their district to receive a $1,000 scholarship.
        “The Teacher of the Year Award is our way of giving back to the communities we serve, and what better way than to reward our local educators who play such an important role in developing our future leaders,” said Jennifer Compton, Director of Business Development.
        Sun Federal began the Teacher of the Year program in 2015. Since its inception, the program has awarded $28,000 to 44 educators and $16,500 to 13 high school students, impacting the lives that make our community shine.
        This year, Sun Federal received 177 nominations and will announce the 2021 award recipients in late March. To learn more, visit or call 800-786-0945.
Virtual Career Fair
        As the economy recovers and Ohio businesses across the state work to stay open or in some cases reopen, JobsOhio’s Network Partners in Ottawa, Sandusky, and Seneca County are hosting OH•Zone, a virtual career fair, on Tuesday, April 13 from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., with a focus on high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors, as well as the public.
        “The virtual career fair will help to connect with prospective employees and meet the workforce needs of local companies and industries,” said Jeff Sprague, Regional Talent Manager for the JobsOhio Northwest Ohio region.
        The online event will feature companies from throughout Ottawa, Sandusky, and Seneca Counties that are hiring for open positions. Participating employers from throughout the three counties will have virtual booths featuring their open positions at varying experience levels.
        “Through the career fair, we hope to attract the attention of active job seekers who seek employment or advancement, and/or who are ready to make a career change,” Sprague said.
        High school students and job seekers are encouraged to register for the event early to upload their resume and qualifications, explore companies and open positions, and sign up to receive alerts and reminders leading up to and throughout the event. Companies will also be reaching out to set up interviews with job seekers for April 13, so visit the event page to explore companies and get registered.
        OhioMeansJobs staff in Ottawa, Sandusky, and Seneca counties are available to assist high school students and job seekers with preparing for the event and navigating the event.
        Register for the OH•Zone event online by visiting
        The Regional Growth Partnership serves as a JobsOhio Network Partner and is the lead economic development group serving the Toledo region and 17 counties of Northwest Ohio. JobsOhio is a private nonprofit corporation designed to drive job creation and new capital investment in Ohio through business attraction, retention, and expansion efforts.
Fall program signup
        Vanguard Adult Workforce Development has announced course registration for the Diversified Medical Occupations fall program.
        The nine-month course prepares individuals for their certification exam, and for an entry-level position as either a medical assistant or phlebotomy technician. The fast-paced course begins with an intensive core curriculum, so admission screening is required for entry.
        The screening is open to individuals who are at least 18 years of age, who have a high school diploma or GED certificate, and have considered a career in the allied healthcare field. The test is free.
        Vanguard partners with ASPIRE to offer classes for those who need to boost placement scores. These classes are also offered free of charge, with no obligation.
        Financial aid for the program is available to those who qualify. The next class will begin in August and will graduate in May 2022.
        For more info email or call 419-334-6901, ext., 2752.
OSWCD scholarship
        The Ottawa Soil & Water Conservation District has announced the Agricultural and Natural Resource Scholarship, available to Ottawa County students and graduates.
        Ottawa SWCD will award one $500 scholarship this spring. Students may apply online at through April 2. The winner will be announced during National Stewardship Week, April 25-May 2.
        To be eligible, a student must be either a 2021 graduating senior or a past graduate of an Ottawa County High School. He or she must be enrolled for the fall 2021 school year as a full-time student at an accredited college, technical school or university. The student must also be pursuing a degree in agriculture, natural resources or a related field.
        This scholarship fund is made possible by donations from the community. Donations so far have been made in honor of Jerry and Cheryl Whipple, who are leaders in land stewardship and have won awards for their work in conservation. For more info about applying or donating, contact Ottawa Soil & Water Conservation District at 419-898-1595.
Environmental scholarships
        Ohio EPA and The Ohio Academy of Science are accepting applications for the 2021 Environmental Education Fund scholarships. The deadline to submit applications is April 15.
        “I encourage all Ohio college students who are eligible and working toward careers in environmental science and engineering fields to apply for these scholarships,” said Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson. “We are honored to help foster learning and achievement, especially with those students who one day will use their education and skills to protect human health and the environment.”
        The merit-based, non-renewable scholarships will be awarded to junior and senior year students enrolled at Ohio public or private colleges/universities/community colleges demonstrating their knowledge and commitment to careers in environmental sciences or environmental engineering. Students will be selected based on academic performance, as well as research, employment/internships, leadership, letters of recommendation from education or environmental professionals, and other criteria.
        Up to $5,000 is available for students entering their collegiate junior or senior year in four-year and five-year programs and up to $2,500 is available to students entering the second year in two-year degree programs. A total of $50,000 will be awarded this year.
        Additional information about the scholarship is available by calling Ohio EPA’s Office of Environmental Education at 614-644-2873 or visiting To learn more about the Ohio Academy of Science, call 614-488-2228 or visit
Eastwood receives Auditor Awards
        For the fifth and sixth consecutive years, Eastwood Local Schools has received the Auditor of State Award for school districts with clean financial audits.
        In addition, Eastwood received the highest designation of Four Stars for government transparency. In order to be recognized, the district must meet criteria deemed “Best Practices” that are above and beyond the requirements of Ohio law.
        “The credit for this goes to Treasurer Brad McCracken, Assistant Treasurer Laurie Ruch, Accounts Payable Diane Steagall, and Payroll Specialist Erin Williams,” Eastwood Superintendent Brent Welker said in an update to the community. “Thanks to their diligent efforts, Eastwood has maintained an outstanding record when it comes to our audits.”
Schools to receive COVID-19 test kits
        The Ohio Department of Education in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Educational Service Center Association recently announced plans to provide an estimated 200,000 Abbott BinaxNOW Home Tests to Ohio public and private schools as another means of providing a safe learning environment for students, in addition to staff vaccinations and continued adherence to safety protocols like surface cleaning and facial coverings.
        The state purchased the tests and will work closely with Ohio’s network of educational service centers to distribute them to schools and districts.
        The 15-minute BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test has received FDA Emergency Use Authorization and is packaged with instructions to access a telehealth professional who will oversee test administration, prescription writing and result reporting. Schools and districts are encouraged to work with their local departments of health to determine the best strategies for using the tests at their locations. It would be appropriate to use the tests for symptomatic students, teachers and staff members.
        “It was important to get these tests in the hands of school leaders because we know how important it is for students to be able to continue learning in their classrooms,” said Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. “In addition to the staff vaccinations, masks and physical-distancing practices that Ohio’s schools already employ so well, these tests will be a big help in our efforts to keep students, staff and communities safe.”
        “Convenient access to testing is one more tool in our toolbox as we all work together to help slow the spread of COVID-19,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria. “Even with these tests and school staff members having the opportunity to be vaccinated, it still will be important to continue protective strategies like mask wearing, frequent hand-washing and maintaining social distancing.”
        Schools and districts should contact their regional educational service centers for more information on how to obtain tests.


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